Faith Fellowship Church…PO Box 1586…Broken Arrow, OK 74013…Pastor Terry Dashner
“Am I Where God Is?”
Where He leads me, I will follow—or so goes the old hymn. Now, if I can only find Him…
Saint Augustine of Hippo found true liberty in 386 AD. Listen to his words, “How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!... You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasures.” The “place” that Augustine once reserved for immorality and debauchery was invaded by God who then filled that empty place with His great joy and sweet pleasures. Augustine found God and followed Him. He could truly say, after his conversion and throughout the rest of his life: I am where God is.
Blaise Pascal once said, “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end… The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.” Blaise Pascal is not very well known in church circles because he was a mathematician who invented, among other things, the calculator— hundreds of years before electricity ran through wires. He is very well known, however, among Bible students because of the term: “Pascal’s Wager.” No time to explain that here, but there is time to consider Pascal’s statement. He believed that all men were motivated by the need for pleasure. If suicide could end their misery and bring them relief, then suicide it was. That sounds odd, but I think it is true. People seek things, even various religions, because they think they will bring them happiness. But, “things” in this world, even religious devotion, can not give man true pleasure or happiness. That’s right. Only God can give man fulfillment. Allow me to continue, please.
I don’t consider true Christianity a religion but a relationship with the person, Jesus Christ. Religions are many and are basically any attempt by man to make himself right with God on his own terms. On the other hand, Christianity says that it is impossible for a man to make himself righteous (right standing) before God. The Bible concurs and says that any attempt by man to stand right before God without a mediator is futile. The Bible declares that self-made righteousness is not unlike “filthy rags.” Any religion that promises happiness through acts of humility, good deeds and morality may sound genuine, but in the end it is discovered for what it is—nothing more than man’s attempt to earn his way to heaven. Religion apart from God is not “true religion.” Man’s need for lasting peace will never be met by religious works (life style).
If I want to be where God is, I must come to Him on His terms, not my own. The problem, says the Bible, is that man is not really trying to find the real God. Men are like sheep gone astray; each one is after his own happiness. So, to discover God, man must allow God to find him. Sound confusing? It’s really not. God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to seek out men and save them by dying for them. Jesus, the second person of Trinity, came to earth to take on Himself man’s death penalty. Man was the guilty party and deserving of death because of his blatant sin before a Holy and Just God. But, it was Jesus who came and died to set men free. This wonderful gift of grace can’t be earned, just received freely by asking for it.
The Jews in Jesus’ day were very religious. But, they rejected His offer of salvation. Why? Maybe it was because their idea of happiness was practicing religion their way and not “the Way.” Jesus said that in order for a man to get to where God is, he must receive His gift, on His terms. Only Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but through the Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said that, not me.
What about you? Do you fellowship with Jesus? Have you denounced all your religious attempts to earn righteous? Let me share this with you in closing. The things of the world will never give you, nor sustain you with the happiness you seek. When I came to God on His terms through His Son, Jesus Christ, I found joy unspeakable. I can’t express to you in words alone what fullness I’ve experienced in Christ through the years. Will it last? I was seven when I asked Jesus to come into my heart. I’m now almost 50, and Jesus has never failed me, not once, not twice, not even in the turndowns of life. His joy has remained with me since I was a child, and I believe it will stay with me throughout eternity. If you truly know Him, you know I speak the truth. If you don’t know Him, guess you’ll just have to take my word for it and try it.
Keep the faith. Stay the course. Jesus is one day soon coming again.
Pastor Terry Dashner
Faith Fellowship Church
PO Box 1586
Broken Arrow, OK 74013
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